Pastor’s Blog

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

James Hollis is a Jungian analyst and an author who approaches life from a secular point of view. Nevertheless, many of his insights have practical application to the existence of any person, regardless of one’s outlook. I have been reading his book Living an Examined...

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Pastor’s Friday Comments (06.07.19)

This week our men’s breakfast group read again the story of the exodus of the Israelites from Egyptian bondage as told by Sean Gladding in The Story of God, the Story of Us. In a creative way that is nonetheless faithful to the text, Gladding reminds us of the events...

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Pastor’s Friday Comments (05.31.19)

Since Easter, one of the suggested readings for worship in the Revised Common Lectionary has been from the Apocalypse of John, the book of the Bible that we refer to as the Book of Revelation. In our worship service we have read those texts as the alternate reading...

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From the Pastor….

Last month the Parkway Weekday Preschool Ministry closed its doors for the last time. After over twenty years of service to the community, declining enrollment and the retirement of long-time director Sue Moser made it a difficult but necessary decision. The ending of...

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Pastor’s Friday Comments (05/24/19)

The Covenant Sunday School Class that Linda and I teach is currently studying doctrines that are important to Baptists. This emphasis may seem incongruent with something I said in a sermon last week about how Christians had reduced what was essentially a movement...

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Pastor’s Friday Comments (05.17.19)

  This Sunday our congregation will do something we do every year about this time. We will approve the spending plan for the fiscal year that will begin July 1. As you should have seen in the material that was sent to you, next year’s budget will be virtually the...

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Pastor’s Friday Comments (05.10.19)

The Men’s Group has just finished reading and discussing Miroslav Volf’s Free of Charge: Giving and Forgiving in a Culture Stripped of Grace. It is probably fair to say that most of us are relieved to be able to move on to something else. Our discussion revealed that...

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Pastor’s Friday Comments (05.03.19)

  I’ve been laboring under a false impression and I have probably led some of you to think along similar lines. As I have discussed the challenges facing Christianity in our culture today, I have made several observations about national trends in attendance in...

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From the Pastor

I think my aversion to social media is well-documented, particularly when they are used for nothing more edifying than taking gossip to a higher technological level or to spread baseless and factually inaccurate rumors. Nevertheless (and I hate to admit this)...

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Pastor’s Friday Comments (04.26.19)

I hope you will be at church Sunday. There is a very good chance that you were there last Sunday, it being Easter and all. Unless there is a good reason, most Christians make an effort to be present on the holiest day of the Christian year. It is, after all, the day...

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Pastor’s Friday Comments (04.12.19)

Occasionally I have the privilege of leading the worship service on Sunday afternoon at Ivy Hall Assisted Living, down the street from the church. I always enjoy being with the small group of retired people that faithfully attend. We meet in the large lobby in the...

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Pastor’s Friday Comments (04.05.19)

I heard a friend pray the other day to the effect that “we’ve gotten good at getting by with a little but we’re not so good at doing well when we have a lot.” He asked the Lord to guide us in that latter, rarer state. It strikes me as a particularly appropriate prayer...

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Pastor’s Friday Comments (03.29.19)

Robert Putnam’s extremely insightful analysis of modern culture, Bowling Alone, was published in 2001. Based on huge amounts of social data accumulated over the past century, its subtitle gives you a good idea of his conclusions: The Collapse and Revival of American...

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From the Pastor…

A Prayer for Sundays O Lord, I am grateful that you are with us every day and everywhere we are. The one who watches over us “neither slumbers nor sleeps.” But Sunday, the day of the resurrection, is always special and so I ask for your presence among us on Sundays in...

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Pastor’s Friday Comments (03.22.19)

All of us say foolish things from time to time. The more we try to say the more likely we are to utter something that we later regret. More unfortunate, however, is when we repeat some pious-sounding phrase many times without realizing that the statement is false....

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Pastor’s Friday Comments (03.15.19)

        In a recent conversation with a young minister, I heard him say, “I have never been more grateful for the autonomy of the local church.” The context was a discussion of a denomination with a more hierarchical structure making a decision...

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Pastor’s Friday Comments (03.08.19)

I learned something this week in our men’s prayer group about cattle herding in Australia. In Future Faith: Ten Challenges Reshaping Christianity in the 21st Century, Wesley Granberg-Michaelson informs us that, “In Australia there are two ways of forming and...

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Pastor’s Friday Comments (03.01.19)

A few years ago, for reasons that I cannot remember and with no particular purpose in mind, I brought home a vintage (read old) Royal manual typewriter that had belonged to my dad. For those of you who don’t know what a typewriter is, see the picture. I must have felt...

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From the Pastor

As you receive this newsletter, we will be preparing to enter the Lenten Season. It wasn’t too long ago that you would not have read that sentence in a Baptist publication. However, over the past few decades we in the “Free Church” tradition have discovered the value...

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Pastor’s Friday Comments (02.22.19)

Through my ministry as a pastor I often hear myself saying the words, “I’m praying for you.” Though I may not always be as intentional at following through on that promise as I should be, I try to be true to my word. And I believe that prayers offered for others make...

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Pastor’s Friday Comments (02.14.19)

Through our support of and cooperation with mission partners at home and around the world, Parkway extends our influence for Christ in remarkable ways. Because of our financial gifts both through the Global Missions Offering and our general fund, as well as those from...

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Pastor’s Friday Comments (02.08.19)

In a recent article by a neurologist, I learned about an incredibly prescient story written in 1909 by E. M. Forster titled “The Machine Stops.” Forster imagines a future where people live underground in isolated cells, never seeing one another and communicating only...

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From the Pastor

On Sunday, January 20, our congregation took a critical step toward ensuring that a family of faith committed to reverent, classic worship, personal relationships with fellow believers, and a Christian witness in a changing environment continues to exist in our...

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Pastor’s Friday Comments (02.01.19)

I saw a cartoon many years ago that reflects the mixed messages we receive every day. A young person is preparing to get dressed in the morning and he has laid out on the bed two tee shirts. He is trying to decide which to wear. One says, “Just say ‘No!’” The other...

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Pastor’s Friday Comments (01.25.19)

  Soon our church website will have a new format. You may not see a lot of difference in its appearance, but it will be a little easier to navigate and the announcements of current events will be more prominent. However, one of the elements from our current site...

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Pastor’s Friday Comments (01.18.19)

Over a century ago an Episcopal clergyman and author named Phillips Brooks delivered the Lyman Beecher Lectures on Preaching at Yale. They were one of the most formative influences on my own preaching. (No, I didn’t hear them in person. They were collected into a...

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Pastor’s Friday Comments (01.11.19)

Every morning I engage in a fairly structured order of prayer. (I know prayer should be spontaneous, like conversation, but this works for me.) And every day I conclude by saying the prayer our Lord taught us to pray, always in the King James English, the way I and...

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Pastor’s Friday Comments (01.04.19)

Earlier this week, as a newly elected US Senator prepared to take office, he wrote an editorial outlining what he thought our country needs today. I won’t cite the article directly since it was understandably political, but twice he said that one of the institutions...

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Pastor’s January Newsletter Column

It’s not uncommon for people at this time of the year, in addition to making resolutions, to compose a mental wish list. As we turn the page of the calendar and think about what the future may hold, we have some, often specific, ways that we would like for it to...

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Pastor’s Friday Comments (12.21.18)

As I did last week, I share with you the prayer we will be using for the Fourth Sunday of Advent in The Beginning Prayer Service. Join us in praying that these final days of preparation before Christmas will be spent in ways that builds up the body of Christ on earth,...

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Pastor’s Friday Comments (12.14.18)

As I did last week, I share with you the prayer we will be using for the Fourth Sunday of Advent in The Beginning Prayer Service. Join us in praying that these final days of preparation before Christmas will be spent in ways that builds up the body of Christ on earth,...

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Pastor’s Friday Comments (12.07.18)

Most Christian families include one or more Nativity Scenes among their Christmas decorations. One of my personal favorites was given to us many years ago by a dear friend. It has always fallen to me to put out all the pieces -- there are thirty of them -- and it...

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Pastor’s December Newsletter Article

The current tagline for a magazine I read each week is “Dig deeper. Think harder. Look further.” The slant of the magazine is thoroughly secular and humanist, so I am not going to suggest adopting their perspective. However, anyone serious about a commitment to...

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Pastor’s Friday Comments (11.30.18)

I suspect most rituals don’t start out as such. They’re just something you do, then you do them again, and eventually it’s hard to see not doing them. A few years ago, on the First Sunday of Advent, during the Hanging of the Greens, I walked around the...

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